This was an annual tradition for me, beginning in the early 1990's. Resuming after my hip surgery, but lately spotty since it's conflicted with some Astro 28 field astro classes. Not this year, and so I was eager to get out there again, as this is one of the most scenic of century ride courses. This year's contingent was Dave and Dan Wyman, and Dan's son and daughter, and me.

On the drive down, the rain clouds cleared before King City, and near the little farming town of San Lucas I spotted from the freeway a nice little running trail by an abandoned quarry by the Salinas River. I listened to the classic book "Born to Run" on audio on the way down, and I just had to get off the freeway and out into the green grasses and flowers for a couple of miles

In Solvang, I met up with the Wyman Mob at the expo, then dinner at a quiet Vietnamese restaurant across the street, and then back to the motel. Here's Dave putting together a wheel for Jason.

Jason would be riding one of Dave's older bikes.... puttting on the finishing adjustments

I was "going rogue" again, so packed all my own food; 3 "Kind" bars, a Gu, extra-strength 5 hr Energy, two fig bars, and the two large-size PB&J sandwiches would go into my jersey back pockets. A Gu eletrolyte mix would supplement my regular water bottle. It was plenty!

Dave has whipped himself into fighting trim - no more sugary snacks! Knocked off 15 lbs, and is tackling a planned 4,000 mile year on the bike. I couldn't keep up with him!

Game-faced as we prepare to deal with the 43F morning chill

Tandem on the roof, and two bikes on the rack, 4 people in the car... no wonder it ran out of gas on the last hill before reaching Solvang last night!

Driving the last 3 miles up the hill to Solvang from Buellton, I snapped this sunrise shot out the front windshield.

Jason - looks tough

I'm reasonably tough too

Putting together the tandem for Dan and Allison

Our Team - ready to roll at 7:14am

One of the two most scenic sections of the ride is the first 17 miles, along Santa Rosa Rd between Buellton and Lompoc, gentle rollers in rural fields overlooking a river plain. That's Jason right ahead of me.

Mile 23: 1st aid station, in Lompoc. Lots of real food...

...producing Yuuge smiles from Team Wyman